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Manager's To Do

Manager’s To Do For Jewelers: January 2016

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Week 1 / JAN. 3-8

Planning Bring your staff together for a post-holidays strategy session. Go over what worked, what didn’t, what your competitors did, what 2015 taught you. Then spin the session forward: Where do you want to be by the end of 2016? The secret to such sessions is to get specific with your targets: Do you want to expand your bridal clientele? Attract more female self-purchasers? Appeal to more Gen Y shoppers? Once you set such goals, you can determine merchandising and advertising strategies.

Finances File all co-op claims for holiday advertising. Put this off and you’ll risk forgetting it.

Customer Maintenance Call up your best customers to see how their holiday gift-giving went. As for the first-timers in December, follow up with a nice-to-meet you offer. This could be a gift certificate tied to Valentine’s Day.

Marketing/Operations January typically sees the coldest days of the year. Have a plan in place should the weather get so severe that it interrupts business. Could you, for example, offer a 2 percent discount for every inch of snow that falls if customers are willing to brave the conditions to come in? Or could you boost your online offerings?

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Week 2 / JAN. 10-15

Inventory Don’t wait another day. Restock your important bread-and-butter pieces immediately. It will be Valentine’s Day before you know it.

Operations Create a yearlong calendar for your website listing store events, new designers and promotions. (If you can’t keep your website up to date, get someone else who can.) A calendar will also get you thinking about events. If you want to try a trunk show or two, you’ll need to start booking designers soon.

Finances Use any extra cash from the holidays to pay down vendors so that you’re in a better position this year to take advantage of trade terms. Be sure too to return any leftover memo goods. Your vendors may need them for the year’s first trade shows.

Staffing Evaluate staff: It’s easy to see your best and weakest performers immediately following your busiest month of the year; this is the time to make those changes.


Week 3 / JAN. 17-22

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Display Select a prominent case as your Designer of the Month case. Make it a scheduled event (note it in your website calendar) and kick off the first day of each month with coffee or champagne for customers. Let designers know they will be featured and see if they can supply extra pieces for your collection.

Marketing Plan Valentine’s Day decor/dress themes. (How can you look romantic this holiday? Red velvet dresses for all staff? )

Advertising Work on your advertising plans for 2016. Start by breaking down your monthly spending based on monthly store sales of the last three or four years. (For example, if February accounts for 7 percent of your total sales for the year, allocate approximately 7 percent of your ad budget toward that month.) For a jeweler in a normal location, a working budget based on 5 to 8 percent of gross sales is typical.


Week 4 / JAN. 24-29

Data Go through the wish lists you collected in the months leading up to the holiday season. They can give you very useful insights into what specific customers might be looking to add to their jewelry wardrobes in 2016 or as gifts for other occasions. Add the notes to your POS database.

Training When was the last time you trained sales staff on the benefits of polishing jewelry in front of customers; before and after they present a piece of jewelry for a shopper’s personal inspection? Now’s the time.

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Finances Need some “social proof” to nudge you toward better money behaviors. Join up for a personal-finance site like Mint.com, which, for example, will let you know you’re paying 167 percent more for auto insurance than people like you typically do. Or, it might point out that if you ate out less — say, in line with the average in your area — you could save as much as $1,000 in six months.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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